New York City is coming back. Last week Governor Cuomo announced that COVID-19 restrictions are lifted as 70% of adult New Yorkers have received first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. With these news, I see more and more people on the streets of the city: tourists, employees of different stores, office people and drivers are filling the streets of NYC.
I decided to take a walk-through Midtown from 34th street to Central Park and see how many people out there. And to be honest it is a different picture than it was a year ago. I remember walking down the 5th avenue and seeing zero people, maybe few cars and closed stores all over the place. Today I'm seeing a different story: Central Park is filled with people, locals and tourists are enjoying wonderful weather at the Sheep Meadow, people taking pictures next to Bethesda fountain, and at the mall you can hear all sorts of music especially New York Jazz. Oh, and the boathouse is back and working as usual, so now you can take a boat and enjoy great atmosphere in the middle of the Lake.
At Bethesda terrace I noticed people who was speaking Portuguese and I asked them if they were tourists, they told me that they came from Portugal. They said that it was very needed vacation which they planned for 2020 but had to postpone till better times and now they are happy to be in New York. Fully vaccinated, they came to the US without any travel problems. My guess, we will see more fully vaccinated tourists in the city this summer. Portugal welcomes fully vaccinated US tourists as well. So, if you have plans to visit that country: get vaccinated and enjoy your trip to Europe.
Speaking of vaccinated: fully vaccinated Canadian citizens who test negative for the coronavirus will be exempt from two weeks of quarantine when returning to Canada as of July 5th, officials said on Monday. I think we will see how fully vaccinated Canadians will be welcomed in the States very soon as well. And since we are not far from Canada, we will see tourists from our neighbor country coming to NYC.
But not only tourists are coming back to the city. Many stores, bars and restaurants are getting back to normal as well. While walking the Broadway I saw several souvenir shops opened back. I remember that last summer they were closed. Bars and restaurants are opening back up as well. I see people enjoying outdoor dining. One of my favorite places - Oscar Wilde at West 27th street is getting packed during evenings, which were rare occasions during summer of 2020. More people in subway and in transit in general. And more office workers as well.
The city slowly but getting back. And this summer will be better than previous year. Plus, we are looking towards Broadway theatres return. Many of them will be ready for people in September, so if you missed Broadway shows you can get tickets now. But some off-Broadway shows are running already, Madison Sq. Garden is getting ready for “Eagles” concert in August and these are signs that New York City is getting back: slowly, but steady.
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